The kidneys act as filters for the body, removing waste from the blood and getting rid of it via the urine. If kidneys are not working properly, waste can build up in the blood. Dialysis can help damaged kidneys by performing the task of filtering. Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when one's own kidneys can no longer take care of the body's needs. Patients need dialysis when they develop end-stage kidney failure - usually by the time sufferers lose about 85 to 90 percent of kidney function and have a GFR of <15.
But one question that always arises to mind- Will dialysis help cure kidney disease?
The answer is direct but not encouraging- it is a big NO.
Dialysis does some of the work of the kidneys, but it does not cure kidney disease. Patients will need to have dialysis treatments for their whole life unless they can get a kidney transplant. Life expectancy on dialysis can vary depending on the other medical conditions and how well patients follow the treatment plan. The average life expectancy on dialysis is 5-10 years or maybe less.
Another question that arises to mind - Are there alternatives to dialysis?
Measures which can help to preserve remaining kidney function, A small amount of kidney function can go a long way to keeping sufferer feeling well and free of major symptoms. The natural tendency is for remaining kidney function to get slowly worse, but the rate at which this occurs can be reduced.
Ensuring good control of blood pressure is important in this respect. Damaged kidneys are also more prone to further damage and some drugs can cause major problems. These include remedies that can be bought over the counter, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents [e.g. Ibuprofen and Diclofenac], which are used for arthritis and general aches and pains. It is advisable to check with one of the doctors before taking any new medicines. Avoiding dehydration is also important, especially during episodes of illness such as diarrhoea and/or vomiting, which may be going around the family.
Modern science considers that once the kidney is damaged it is damage forever and once the dialysis is started it is started forever but Ayurveda has a different philosophy for the treatment of CKD, start treatment on time that the further damage to the kidneys can be prevented and remission of the kidney function can be done.
It is always advisable to start ayurvedic treatment in time, which means it should be started in the initial phase of chronic kidney disease although it also helps the patients already on dialysis and early start of ayurvedic medicine is always recommended.
Ayurveda has mentioned various herbs like Punarnava, Gokhru, Varuna, Sigru and described their benefits in ancient ayurvedic texts around 5000 years back. These herbs are excellent Nephrotonic to revive kidney function by restoring the kidney function parameters like serum creatinine, blood urea, uric acid and also help restore GFR.
Chronic kidney disease patients can be benefited by increasing the excretion of waste build up in the blood that can be done by increasing urinary output. Ayurveda has mentioned an excellent herb Gokhru which is having an excellent diuretic effect on the system that increases urinary output and benefits the patients of CKD.
Experts say that herbal formulations could be an alternative to dialysis to some extent
Dialysis is a way of life for many patients suffering from kidney ailments in the country.
Given limited options for treatment of kidney disease in allopathy, experts representing the traditional medical system claimed that herbs could slow the disease’s progression and offer relief from the symptoms, along with careful diet and exercise.
Two recent scientific studies have claimed that herbal formulations, based on traditional medicinal plants like punarnava, could be effective in preventing and managing ailments related to the kidney.
According to a study, a woman suffering from kidney ailment was given punarnava-based formulation for a month, significantly bringing the creatinine and urea level in her blood to a healthy level. Besides, her haemoglobin level had also improved, concluding that the punanrva-based formulation not only improves the functioning of the kidney but also improve haemoglobin level.
Another study published in the Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, too, stated the efficacy of the punarnava-based herbal formulations, including lotus leaves, patharchur and other major herbs when given to the subjects. It was found that the drug had helped in maintaining the histological parameter of kidneys, apart from reducing high levels of uric acid and electrolytes.
“Aimil’s Neeri KFT Syrup is a potent nephroprotective formulation, protecting kidneys from nephrotoxins, including oxidative damage induced by lead acetate,” a recent study said. It can also delay the need for dialysis and beneficial in patients already on dialysis, it can help reduce the frequency of dialysis. It can help to preserve the remaining kidney function, A small amount of kidney function can go a long way to keeping patient feeling well.